String of Pearls 6: How My Depression Felt

-I was massively depressed in  1986.It was a suicidal depression. I often share that experience in my meetings because I know that many people  have been depressed or fear being depressed.

-One day when I was a young boy I was out riding my bike. All of a sudden a big German Shepherd I hadn’t noticed charged me growling and barking fiercely. The big dog bit me and knocked me off my bike. I was filled with a staggeringly terror. During my depression I felt that terrified all day  and all night.

-.While I was depressed I cried at night for several months.Sometimes I cried driving to work My Oldest daughter slept in the adjoining bedroom. She wrote a heart rending poem. One of the lines of the poem was “Will I ever get my Daddy back? think all that crying was my body’s desperate effort to heal itself.

-While I was in my depression I felt it was my fault. I did not appreciate the reality that my depression  was at its base a product of my DNA.Years ago I made the effort to count the number of of people in my larger  family who had suffered either a depression or had suffered from being bipolar.  The result of this effort was surprising to me.  There were 17 people among my birth family, my father and his sibling and my mom and her siblings. That number of depressed relatives completely nailed down in my thinking that I had, had  a DNA  caused depression. I needed to get medical help to deal with my bad chemistry.

-I came to believe in prayer and medication.

-The way I understand my depression this way. Because of my DNA my body stopped producing the necessary biochemicals and I became depressed. The pathway to all my suppressed negative shame, anger, resentments, thought habits opened up because of the insufficient amount of hormones caused by depression. All of my buried negative feelings jumped at the chance to emerge  and flew out of my subconscious.

– This flood of bad thinking no doubt effectively worsened my fearful feelings. However, this flood of bad feelings was at heart a healthy thing. While buried, my negative feelings could not be dealt with.

-I instinctively understood that the solution to my mental health problems was not to rebury my bad feelings. I often prayed “God I would be angry with you for allowing me to feel this badly except I can’t think of another way I  could get at my suppressed sick thinking so I could get better.”

-I realized that I had had a low level depression all my life.I desperately wanted to experience living in a positive way.  That meant I had to get help with my sick thinking. there was no way I could deal with my negativity by myself.

-Maybe the first negative thinking that I needed to get help for was the sense that this depression was going to last forever.

-I haven’t been depressed since. However, I have always kept myself in contact with a psychiatrist that I trusted so I could get immediately if I felt myself going down.



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